Published on July 26, 2023

The Sierra Nevada is all about action. About heading outdoors with the guys to test your mountain mettle whether that’s switchbacks to the peak, flicking a line for rainbow trout or learning how to rope up a granite face. Meeting the wilderness with your crew is without a doubt how bonds are forged and stories created. Then, at the end of a day, the focus turns to good food and drink as reward for a “job” well done. Sound tempting?  Indeed, a guy’s getaway to Yosemite hits just right.

From work buddies to schoolmates, bachelor parties to just you and your friends, Yosemite Mariposa County is the perfect destination for guys of all stripes.  Located 3 hours from the Bay Area and 4.5 hours from Los Angeles, the road trip is half the fun with the windows down, the tunes rocking and a fresh Sierra breeze welcoming you to an epic adventure. Circle some dates and turn it up – bromance awaits.

Get After It

Hiker on the trail in Yosemite National Park

Finding an outdoor adventure for the boys in Yosemite Mariposa County is like tossing darts blindfolded and hitting all bullseyes.  Between the rock opera of terrain, plunging waterfalls and pro-outfitters, the infrastructure of fun can’t miss.

The High Sierra is synonymous with hiking, and Yosemite Mariposa County satisfies ardent trekkers and casual amblers alike. The trails inside Yosemite National Park lead to iconic destinations such as the stone staircase at Vernal Fall, the knife’s edge of Clouds Rest and the wonder dome of wilderness across the High Country. Outside the park in Mariposa County, there are swimming holes, riverside trails along the Merced and endless exploration of the Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests.  Check out the Yosemite Mariposa County hiking guide to find the right distance and level of challenge for your crew.

Rocks.  Lots of rocks.  Yosemite Mariposa County rock climbing offers everything from 3,000 ft vertical faces (El Capitan) to dome scrambles and all the granite in between. Learn the ropes for real at the Yosemite Mountaineering School & Guide Service while pondering that eternal question of why we climb mountains (answer: because they’re there).

With a variety of roads and terrain, Yosemite Mariposa County biking offers many ways to roll. From the fire roads of the Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests to the 15-mile loop of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa e-bike tours, pedal power rules in these parts. For verified runs, get the guys out to Exchequer Mountain Bike Park and gaze over the blue waters of Lake McClure before bombing downhill. With high and low country lakes, dozens of streams and the mighty Merced River running through it all, the lineup of water sports in Yosemite Mariposa County is second to none. 

Yosemite Things To Do Rafting
Rafting on the Merced River

Whitewater rafting in spring brings the guys together for rapids with names like  Stark Reality (Class IV) and Percolator (Class IV)), while fishing Yosemite Mariposa County is perfect for cast masters who just like to throw out a lure and relax with a frosty beer. For some up-tempo diversions, Lake McClure’s 80 miles of shoreline creates lots of flat water for prime wakeboarding and is only 1.5 hours from the Bay Area.  Feel like chilling on the beach at 10,000 feet?  Roll out your towels at the east end of Tenaya Lake for some Vitamin D and a brisk, yes brisk, swim.

It’s not every day that you can tee off inside a national park, but Yosemite is the exception with its Wawona Golf Course.  There’s no better spot for a friendly tourney with your buddies at this 9-hole, par 35 course tucked into the pines at 4,000 feet. Who knows, maybe the thin, fresh air will add 20 yards to your drive!

For the most adventurous of bromances, getting your buddies together to experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of skydiving might be an intriguing ticket.  With dives from 10K, 12K and 14K feet, Skydive Yosemite is based out of the Mariposa-Yosemite Airport and offers killer views of Yosemite Valley from on high.

Relaxing at Dewey Point after a snowshoe trip
Snowshoe or cross-country ski to Dewey Point for amazing views of Yosemite Valley and El Capitan. Photo: YMCTB/Kim Lawson

One approach that deserves more attention…visiting Yosemite outside of summer.  The crowds are thinner, traffic’s lighter and the seasons are pure magic. So gather up your posse for a winter sports getaway where you can find tasty pow at Badger Pass Ski Area, or lace up for incredible Yosemite Mariposa County snowshoeing to such places as Dewey Point.  Here, perched 3,300 feet above Yosemite Valley, the wintry face of El Capitan looks close enough to touch.

Post-Trail After Party

Your day of adventure of has left you tired.  Good tired.  And now it’s time for you and your mates to celebrate with libations, BBQ and live music. Salud!

The obvious choice for your post-trail after-party is the historic Gold Rush town of Mariposa. With everything right along the main drag, a saloon crawl is imminent and dining options abundant.

Mariposa Hotel Inn
Mariposa is home to many wonderful lodging, dining, and great places to grab drink, take in live music and meet friendly locals.

Stop at the 1850 Restaurant & Brewery for smoked rib-eye and a War Paint IPA, one of its flagship suds. The outdoor patio is as large as their Bootjack Burger. Tasty.

Hip patio, good spirits and live music can always be found at The Grove House with its open, barn-like space. Sample the steak or veggie tacos from their simple, local farm-to-table menu.

Pool, darts and karaoke at the elevated “dive” bar the Hideout Saloon are accompanied by dollar bills pinned to the walls and a Mariposa-strong local vibe. That is if you can find it.

The Alley sports 16 rotating taps, tasty apps, and the occasional troubadour down the back stairs on their open patio. Belly on up.

If grapes (and apples) are more your taste, try the Casto Oaks Tasting Room for a signature bottle of Man’s Best Blend, or hit up Sierra Cider Farm & Cidery for some “Campfire Champagne” at its hip tasting room — a converted shipping container set smack dab in the apple orchard.

Check out our complete Yosemite Mariposa eat & drink guide for everything from pizza and pilsners to tacos and tequila.

Yosemite Crash Pads

Tenaya at Yosemite
Tenaya at Yosemite is Mariposa County’s 4-Diamond full-service resort.

Whether you want to snooze at a comfy, no-frills spot close to the action, find a hotel with on-site amenities or book a cabin big enough for the whole crew, there’s a crash pad waiting in Yosemite Mariposa County.

If your after-party brings you to where the action is, then spending the night there makes perfect sense.  There are plenty of downtown Mariposa accommodations where the walk to bed might be your easiest hike of the day.  Pint to pillow, say yes.

For one-stop snooze, booze and brews, Tenaya at Yosemite is a Sierra resort worthy of any guy’s getaway.  Located in Fish Camp, Tenaya borders the Sierra National Forest where fire roads = bike rides, and the lodge’s outdoor fire pits address the fact that “man need fire.”

The stately, historic Wawona Hotel may not seem like the obvious choice for the fellas…that is unless you’re golfing at the aforementioned Wawona Golf Course next door.  Or if you want to hike to Chilnualna Falls — a killer waterfall that’s wholly under-appreciated.  Or for all the reasons Southern Yosemite is amazing.

If your guy’s getaway involves boating, then staying at Lake McClure is pure glass. Campsites and cabins along this vast, horseshoe-shaped gem make the launch ever so simple. You might even spot some hang gliders soaring overhead.

Yosemite Mariposa County cabins rentals are group-ready and provide amenities such as game rooms, fire pits and hot tubs. Check out our regional guide to find a spot close to your adventure and maximize your time getting after it.

Forged In Adventure

exchequer mountain biking above lake mcclure
Soak in the Sierra foothill’s golden hour at Exchequer Moutain Bike Park.

Here in Yosemite Mariposa County there are outdoor adventures for bros of all types and ages. From skis to snowboards, mountain bikes to e-bikes, and golf to the cables at Half Dome, the days are packed and the nights are peppy. So, tighten your bindings, rack up the mountain bike and dust off the clubs. Like John Muir said, “…the mountains are calling.”

Categories: General Travel Tips